Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Posted on April 2, 2012 by Dianne

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

I’m a big fan of my slow cooker. It’s so versatile and it’s the perfect tool to use to whip up a hearty, yet meatless batch of Red Beans & Rice for Meatless Monday! This is a zesty, healthy twist on the classic Red Beans & Rice dish, leaving out the sausage all together. The beauty of this is you dump in the ingredients and walk away. What could be better than that? It’s easy, and easy is good, especially on a week night! So let’s dig in for Meatless Monday

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of long grain brown rice (Note: You could use white rice if you wanted to, but brown is much healthier.)
2 cups of dried red kidney beans that have been soaked overnight
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of chives, chopped (Note: I used dried chives this go around, but you can use fresh as well.)
1-2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole Seasoning
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of sea salt (Note: Omit this if your seasoning contains salt.)
4 cups of water

In the bottom of your slow cooker spread the rice out in an even layer.

Next add the kidney beans on top of the rice.

After the kidney beans add the red onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and chives.

Sprinkle the seasoning, smoked paprika and salt evenly over the vegetables and rice and then cover with the water. (Remember to omit the salt if your seasoning already has salt in it.)

Cook on high for 4-5 hours until rice is done and beans are tender, or 5-6 hours on low.

Serve with hot sauce if desired. A nice side dish for this is Spicy Baked Chard. A slice of sour dough bread might be nice as well.

Notes: This recipe is Vegan as written. The possibilities with this recipe are endless. You can substitute black or pinto beans in place of the red. Haven’t got time to soak the beans or simply forgot? If that’s the case you can add in two cans of red beans about 30 minutes before servings so that they heat through. Sometimes I like to add in other vegetables to up the nutritional punch. Zucchini, squash and/or carrots are really great in this mix. If you really want to spice things up add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper on top of the Cajun or Creole seasoning, which I do often. Also you could add a vegetarian sausage if you prefer, but I like to use the smoked paprika for that sausage taste as I’ve never been a fan of the sausages used in Red Beans and Rice.

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So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.

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